“What’s it like being home?

I woke up this morning, and much like many others for the most of the past few months, I was confused and it took me a second to realize where I was.

What’s it like being home in the USA? I get asked a lot.

I was perusing through my old photos on Instagram today.

A year ago, there were lots of “What I Wore” outfit posts. Selfies. Los Angeles city-living.

Then months later, they changed. I left for this life-altering trip. First stop, Bali: Beaches, Quotes. More reflection. A lot less me. A month later, even more mindful revelations, incredible scenery. Nepal: the Himalayas, the discovery of meditation, yoga, people. The documentation of the connections I’ve shared with these people, the ones that changed my world in every way. India: more yoga, more people. Little details, moments, memories. The seemingly mundane captured with new eyes and a new heart, as if magic. The past five months-worth of photos is something I am smiling as I look through. Something I’m proud of. The most transformative moments of my life. Something I truly wish everyone could experience.

And now?

Photos of my newly dyed blonde hair (sorry Mom, I know you’re reading this – don’t show Dad yet). Me and my sisters. My outfit for a night out on the town. Me and my friend after getting drinks at a bar. A picture of my food. Another selfie.

Uhhh…who is this girl now?

Instagram now and then

I look at the photos since my return and I feel guilty.

Am I falling back into this old life? One that is far too centered on me, on materialistic things? On things that I’ve learned – by way of the realest of experiences – don’t really matter?

Below are a few words I chose to share regarding some of these feelings I’ve had upon returning home with my friends on Facebook the other day:

I’ve been going through photos of my travels to finally post/share via social media. I’ve also been watching our traveling web series videos, from our time with permaculture communities in Bali, to orphanages and sound healers in Nepal, to yoga in India. And what I keep thinking is how the HELL, after all the amazing people I’ve met and things I’ve seen, could I now give two shits about a certain-celebrity-I-refuse-to-name’s platinum hair or who her little sister is dating? How could I give a shit about this celebrity’s response to this claim or that rumor, or who made the list of Top 5 Richest Music Artists? Many people have asked what it’s like to be home. Honestly, it’s been mainly just a whole lot of wondering how we live the way we live. All these bullshit headlines are seriously frustrating me more now than they ever have before. I just went on an unsubscribing rampage across all these Facebook pages that used to be my go-to fashion trends/news sources for years because I seriously just can’t do it anymore. I just wonder why we eat this shit up. Why this is the shit we talk about at work on dreaded Monday mornings. I wonder why we put ourselves in the position to dread Monday mornings. For what? I wonder how our system works the way it does. How we all manage to stay so ignorant and choose to be so blind (and I don’t mean EVERYONE, I just mean as a general public). And now I’m sort of just trying to figure out how and where I fit. How to live a life I’m proud of, here, in this environment. One that is so blatantly money-driven and at times, ego-driven. How to continue to serve others while pursuing my passions and being true to me. How to stay awake. It’s all a balance and I’m trying to figure out now how to best maintain that.

For the most part, the response to this sharing of my personal feelings was positive and supportive. I am so blessed to be surrounded by people who have really encouraged me along the highs and lows of this journey. And even for some friends to go as far and express the fact that they are proud of me means more than anything.

One friend, who also has had a lot of experience traveling outside the U.S., said he could relate to my feelings. He even expressed his frustrations for being chastised for having my exact feelings. And what followed? Friends chastising me for the exact same thing. My parents, even, in a sense. “You’re taking it too far,” they said. “You might be offending people.” Or the ever-annoying list of “easy-fix” solutions to this non-issue I seem to be experiencing: “Why don’t you just delete your social media accounts?”

First of all, not all grasped my main point or fully agreed with my perspective, and that is completely fine. But it seems to me that many had overlooked the simple, yet powerful little pronoun that I carefully chose to utilize. And that is “we.”

I am no better than you. I am not more spiritual than you. I am not a better person who cares about more important things than you. I am someone who has done a lot of good things in the past five months, for sure. Things I am absolutely proud of. Things I hope to carry with me forever as a reminder, as a challenge, of how to continue forth with my life.

But I am also someone who is completely and wholly aware of the other side of herself – the things that her ego yearns for that maybe she isn’t necessarily so proud of. Things that money can bring. Meaningless, materialistic things. I think I can be just as insane and ridiculous as I believe anyone else to be in this country. I am ignorant, I am sure, to a lot of things going on in this world (and knowing it and recognizing it is the first step to changing it). I am not immune.

I am not holier than thou, nor would I ever try to act like I am. I am human, I am flawed. I can admit it. I am a work in progress. And I am just trying to figure out what the hell I want to do with my life and what it means to me, just like you are.

I want to continue to keep people in mind. To be good to others. I want to serve a greater purpose. I don’t want to care anymore about Hollywood. It was my job before, literally. It was my 9 – 5 office job to give a shit. And I personally don’t want to do it anymore. Does it mean I never gave a shit? Obviously not. Does that mean that I now poo-poo anyone who does work in that industry? Absolutely not. In fact, I still have the utmost respect for my former colleagues and those I got the chance to work with, many of which are still friends. All I’m saying is that it isn’t for me, not any more. And that’s fine, and not something anyone should take offense to.

I love fashion. And I enjoy getting dressed up. Did I once shop way too much and find way too much joy in doing so? Did I let it get out of control at one point in my life? Yeah, maybe. Did I realize it and change my life? Yeah, I did. Am I scared I’m going to get sucked back into that life now that I’m home? Once I start making money? Once I get back into the grind? Absolutely.

And I recognize that there are certain ways that the larger industry overlaps with certain things I hope not to get lost in. But in general, my interest in fashion is a healthy passion of mine, and have no intentions on suppressing it.

I dyed my hair blonde because I think it looks badass and I wanted to look badass. Is that materialistic? Is that narcissistic? Is it a form of self-expression? Think what you will.

My point is, I’m trying to figure out me. Where I fit. What I think is right, what I think is not so right. I’m not telling anyone else who lives a different life that they should live mine. I’m not telling anyone else how to live, period. I’m too busy trying to figure out me, and let me tell you, it has not been an easy thing. But the older I get, the deeper I go within, the more rewarding I find it all to be.

All of this – my photos, my words, my commentary – is me thinking (and writing) out loud. I’m just sharing with you what’s going on in this bubble of mine. And the journey I’ve taken outside of it.

I’m still figuring it out, and I’m likely to change my mind along the way. I’m OK with that. I’m taking a hard look at what I want to hold on to and what I want to let go of. And I am challenging myself to keep myself in check along the way. I am not blaming my surroundings or environment for anything, I’m challenging myself to be the person I want to be despite it. Whether it’s the slums of Jayanagar or Hollywood Hills.

And now I’m thinking again about something a very dear friend told me while in India: “As an Aquarius, whenever we fail or feel lethargic or discontinue a pattern that we enjoyed or was healthy, we tend to freeze up. And beat ourselves up. It’s a negative quality in us. Change it.”

Check, check.


8 thoughts on ““What’s it like being home?

  1. People may react negatively when you stir around in the metaphorical pot of life.

    According to how I think, you are not doing anything bad. You have started to hunger for more in life and that’s excellent, how else are we going to evolve mentally?
    Parents may want the best for us, a safe life, good income, a house, etc.

    But what satisfied the previous generation might just not be enough for us, I believe that most of us want to make personal changes just like you did but are to stuck in the grind and can’t see outside their own foxhole.
    We might also be scared to lose the comfort we have been working for and might lash out to those who make us feel or think different about the priorities that has been made in life.

    I don’t believe that you can fall back into an old lifestyle when you have a new perspective of life, you could, but if you truly want changes, I don’t think your mind will leave you in peace.

    This period after such a immense travel, coming back to the safety and comfort of your old lifestyle is when you have the opportunity to do what your doing, to reflect, to choose accept and evolve.

    Like you saw in your travels, life is not black and white, you can’t just erase your old identity but you can add and improve on it.
    If dying your hair felt like a good choice at the moment, then who can judge you?
    It’s as if people that judge just wanted the same as the one being judged, but couldn’t or didn’t dare to do what that person did.

    From what I read, you sound like a mentally healthy person, going through changes, evolving and is starting to swim against the current.
    You might face much resistance in the beginning but soon you will find people equally minded.

    As someone wrote in Instagram, keep your head high, only insecure people want to drag you down.

    • Thank you SO much for this. Everything you said. There is so much truth to it. You have reminded me that it’s ok to feel the way I feel, and react the way I am. And above all else, you have reminded me to be kinder to myself. You honestly made my day. I needed it. Thank you.

  2. I think the problem here is quite clear: you love wasting your parents hard earned money. Time and time again you find new and “exciting” ways to escape reality and responsibility at the expense of others. If you are truly trying to make ends meet why would you take in a dog? Isn’t that selfish considering you have mountains of debt?

    • I think there are immature ways to handle situations/express your feelings, and mature ways to do so. I wouldn’t say commenting “anonymously” (though no one is fooled here) on my blog could be categorized under the latter. I feel sorry for you. You obviously have strong feelings about me and my life but you don’t have the courage to put your name behind it. It’s easy to throw digs at people while hiding behind a keyboard. If you ever are ever feeling a little brave, you can reach out to me directly if you have an issue. You have my number.

  3. Ev, have you even attempted to look for employment yet to pay for your bills? How can you teach the whole world yoga but can’t even master your own finances?

    If anything you should feel really sorry for your parents who had to deal with and support your college major changes “several” times.

    I hope you find yourself one day and be happy with where you are in life and how much a lot of people sacrificed for you to be where you are (although I don’t think anybody will be fooled here that you will).

    • If you really were a friend who had legitimate concerns about my life, you would pick up the phone and let me know. Then instantly, I could correct you in all the areas that you’re completely wrong. (For one, I am employed. Second of all, I’m not currently teaching yoga, just continuing my daily self-practice. Not that you are even entitled to know about any of that. And what sort of bills I have is CERTAINLY none of your business.)

      But if you still don’t have the decency to call me or text me as who you are, and rather feel it necessary to continue to post these ridiculous comments anonymously, please excuse yourself. I have no room for this sort of negativity in my life, especially from someone who apparently knows very little about me.

  4. If you have a job then that’s the most amazing news ever. Working for your mom doesn’t count though.

    Before I end my commentary here I just needed a few questions cleared. First, in the blog titled “sans concealer” you claimed that you were never into designer name fashion. How can that be possible but still drop $1k in a purse that’s on sale?

    Lastly, and in your honest opinion, do you think you exhibit clear examples of narcissistic personality order? I really feel bad for Jordan having to put up with your rants during the whole trip. I wonder if he’s got anything positive to say about you.

    • I am so flattered that you have taken the time to read each and every one of my blog posts, evidently with great detail. For answers to these and any other questions you may have about me and my life, you can reach out directly by phone.

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